Religion Book Reviews (page 176)

Released: Jan. 1, 1994

From prolific historian Smith (Killing the Spirit, 1990; Redeeming the Time, 1986, etc.): a genealogy of democracy that rejects Max Weber's ``Protestant ethic''—which equates democracy, Christianity, and capitalism—and instead places the democratic impulse squarely in the Christian communalist tradition. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 15, 1993

"Learned and lucid: an important piece of sociohistorical research."
In a vigorous historical analysis, Meeks (Biblical Studies/Yale; The First Urban Christians, 1983) offers new perspectives on the early days of Christian morality. Read full book review >

Released: Dec. 6, 1993

"Though couched in well-mannered, even cautious, prose, Murphy's linkages offer a provocative new interpretation of the black American religious experience—one that's likely to inspire Afrocentrics even as it wrinkles the collars of conservative clerics and theologians."
Murphy's Santer°a (1988) was a dramatic firsthand, if scholarly, account of that African-Cuban religion. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

"Here again, as in too much writing on the Middle East, sincerity has replaced balanced analysis."
A critical and largely one-sided view of modern Zionism and the history of Israel. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 19, 1993

"Those with a serious interest in Maya myth, symbol, and art, though, can excavate much of value here. (Illustrations—250, including 24 pages color)"
How elements of the Maya creation myth can be found in ancient Maya art as well as in today's Maya folk culture. Read full book review >

Released: Nov. 1, 1993

A comprehensive and balanced history of conservative Catholic social thought during the cold war era. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Not hagiographic—Schneider emphasizes that Dorsey remained mercurial until the end—but, still, angels weep as the abbot, his body ravaged but his dignity aglow, breathes his final breath. (Eight pages of photographs—some seen)"
Religious history rings with tales of converted libertines- -Saul, St. Read full book review >
THE HISTORY OF HELL by Alice K. Turner
Released: Oct. 28, 1993

"Sleek but shallow—and doesn't hold a candle to its counterpart, Colleen McDannell and Bernhard Lang's Heaven: A History (1988). (Illustrations: 32 pages color, 30 b&w)"
Just in time for Halloween: a pop guide to the hells of the Western world. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 25, 1993

"An assertive, odd, reductive reading of a familiar and complex cultural phenomenon that the Greeks identified as eros and thanatos."
A vivid but quirky survey of what Osborne (Paris Dreambook, 1991; Ania Malina, 1987) calls ``sexual pessimism''—the association between sexual pleasure and death—which he traces to the Gnostics, the pre-Christian sect that gave creative power to evil and held carnal pleasure in contempt. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 15, 1993

"A generally—and ironically—self-centered exercise in the economics of meaning, whose appeal seems limited largely to true believers."
A down-east entrepreneur's slick and assured account of how he brought his company into the light, thereby showing the way for less advanced enterprises. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 15, 1993

"It will hit the fast track fast, and keep on running and running and running."
Megawriter Peck, whose The Road Less Traveled continues as a smash bestseller more than a decade after publication, weighs in with additional down-to-earth counsel on psychological and religious matters, based this time on his talks and lectures. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 6, 1993

"Magisterial and brilliant."
Superb kaleidoscopic history of religion, from an English nun- turned-scholar. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jason Gay
November 17, 2015

In the 1990s, copies of Richard Carlson’s Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (and its many sequels) were seemingly everywhere, giving readers either the confidence to prioritize their stresses or despondence over the slender volume’s not addressing their particular set of problems. While not the first book of its kind, it kicked open the door for an industry of self-help, worry-reduction advice guides. In his first book, Little Victories, Wall Street Journal sports columnist Gay takes less of a guru approach, though he has drawn an audience of readers appreciative of reportage that balances insights with a droll, self-deprecating outlook. He occasionally focuses his columns on “the Rules” (of Thanksgiving family touch football, the gym, the office holiday party, etc.), which started as a genial poke in the eye at the proliferation of self-help books and, over time, came to explore actual advice “both practical and ridiculous” and “neither perfect nor universal.” The author admirably combines those elements in every piece in the book. View video >